Issued 19th October 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC) have received a cheque of £11035.11 from Kenworthy’s Chambers, amounting to a percentage of their barristers’ fees.
Patrick Cassidy, Deputy Head of Kenworthy’s Chambers, said: “You have reawakened the sense that we can create our own movements, our own legal services. We are delighted to give support and we hope that our gesture will inspire other chambers and firms.”
The cheque was delivered at the GMLC premises in Moss Side. It was received by GMLC volunteers and patrons, including community activist Dr Erinma Bell and human rights lawyer Robert Lizar.
Due to law centre closures and cuts to legal services, GMLC’s community and volunteer-led model relies on innovative funding methods. This has included asking individual lawyers to donate 0.5% of their monthly earnings as part of a Lawyers Fund Generation Scheme. Following discussions with Andy Burnham prior to the Mayoral election, they delivered an open letter and petition to the Mayor’s office in July this year, inviting him to encourage well-off lawyers to make a financial contribution to help offset the cuts to the poorest (and unfunded) lawyers.
John Nicholson, Chair of GMLC, said: “We are therefore grateful for all the lawyers who support the pro bono, charitable and legal aid services; and at the same time we will continue to call for the restoration of legal aid nationally.”
Robert Lizar echoed the call for sustainable funding for legal services: “Pro bono is not enough; it is a fraction of what is desperately needed in terms of legal support for our communities.”
GMLC opened in August 2016 with premises in Moss Side. They provide free legal advice and representation, currently specialising in welfare benefit claims. In their first year, they helped clients with lost benefits to claim back over £400,000. Their recent AGM outlined their plans for strategic litigation, which means using legal cases to challenge and change welfare policy.
The Greater Manchester Law Centre provides access to free and independent legal advice and representation for the people of Greater Manchester, as well as being a campaign for justice and properly funded legal services.
Notes to editors
Contact: Roz Burgin and Astrid Johnson, Development Workers, ku.gr1511013027o.wal1511013027mg@tn1511013027empol1511013027eved1511013027
Tel: 0161 769 2244
Registered Charity Number 1170317
Registered Company 09698401
The Greater Manchester Law Centre is a member of the Law Centres Network, www.lawcentres.org.uk.
Kenworthy’s Chambers http://www.kenworthysbarristers.co.uk/
Open letter to Andy Burnham https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/andy-burnham-crete-a-levy-for-free-access-to-justice
Manchester lawyers asked to donate 0.5% of earnings https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/manchester-lawyers-asked-to-donate-05-of-earnings-for-new-law-centre/5056088.article